3 ALL-TIME PREP BESTS have come down the pike since the last issue: boys 200 & 5000, girls 2000 steeple.
19.97 For Issam Asinga
Lubbock, Texas, April 29 — Issam Asinga (Academy, Montverde, Florida) scored a hit and a miss in his latest attempt at High School Records. Running at the Corky/Crofoot Shootout at Texas Tech, the 18-year-old phenom first went after the 100. Admittedly, getting a World Championships qualifier of 10.00 or better was more on his mind than the 10.00 prep standard Trentavis Friday set in ’14.
Lining up in lane 4, with Western Texas find James Dadzie on his left and Tech’s Don’dre Swint on his right, Asinga ran to the line in a near dead heat with Ghanian Dadzie, edging him 9.884–9.888. While 9.89 at first glance looked like a Worlds qualifier and HSR, the wind reading of 3.2 kept it from being either. It was Asinga’s third time running faster than the HSR with too much wind.
The 200 came little more than an hour later. Asinga got out best in lane 7, but was caught by collegian Courtney Lindsey coming off the turn. As they battled down the straight, Dadzie came on fast from lane 8 to take the win in 19.79. Lindsey edge Asinga, 19.94–19.97.
Despite only placing 3rd, Asinga made history. The 1.3 wind reading ensured that his 19.97 would hold up as the new HSR, bettering the 20.09 set by one Noah Lyles at the Olympic Trials in ’16. Lyles was quick to offer praise, tweeting, “Yo I’m so happy to see this. This is the first HS that stayed in HS to run sub-20. I knew he would do it and I’m just glad that I’m here to see it. Congratulations again!”
13:37.30 For Connor Burns
Walnut, California, May 06 — At the On Track Fest Connor Burns (Southern Boone, Ashland, Missouri) took down the 5000 record that has been on his mind all season. He clocked 13:37.30 in his inaugural 5 on the track, clipping 0.61 off Galen Rupp’s 13:37.91 from’04. Rupp had made several attempts at Gerry Lindgren’s venerable ’64 mark of 13:44.0 but Burns needed just the one.
The Duck-to-be first made headlines in ’22 when he broke 4:00, his 3:58.83 taking away Jim Ryun’s 3:59.0 junior class record. Here, he knew the pace would be right as section 2 of the 5000 was loaded with pros looking for a USATF qualifier (13:20.00). But this wasn’t a solo HS attempt, as Tyrone Gorze (Crater, Central Point, Oregon), who set the indoor 5000 record at 13:56.82, in January was in the lineup as well.
The race began as expected, with the prep duo hanging in the near the middle of the second pack, letting the pros do their business. They paired well with each other and passed 1600 in 4:23 and 3000 in 8:14. It was at this point that eventual winner John Heymans separated from the pack with Jack Rowe and, slowly but surely, the high schoolers were back in the mix.
With 2 laps to go, Burns felt it was time to step it up. After a steady diet of 66’s with Gorze, Burns needed to go sub-2:04 to dethrone Rupp and a 63.2 penultimate lap put that goal within reach.
After storming down the backstraight, he entered the homestretch dueling with Britain’s Henry McLuckie and Canada’s Thomas Fafard. He may have been edged by McLuckie for 4th place, but luck was on Burn’s side, as his 61.22 final circuit was enough for the record.
Not to be overlooked, Gorze finished 10th in 13:45.81, making him the No. 6 all-time performer. /Brian Russell/
6:22.85 For Karrie Baloga
White Plains, New York, May 13 — Three days after winning the Penn Relays 3000, Karrie Baloga (Cornwall Central, New Windsor, New York) ran her first 2000 steeple of the season at the Cornwall Steeplefest. It was the last race on her home track for the Colorado-bound star, who moved to No. 3 on the all-time list with a 6:28.72 win.
Then at the 55th Glenn D. Loucks Games she went to the front and the attack on the national record was on, but with 2 laps to go she took a tumble over a barrier. She rolled and got right up and back on the attack of the record.
Running hard all the way through the line, the 17-year-old Baloga stopped the clock at a 6:22.85 that stands as not only a new HSR but also an American Junior standard. The old best of 6:24.32 was set last year by Angelina Napoleon (Allegany-Limestone, Allegany, New York).
Behind Baloga, Sheridan Wheeler (Saratoga Springs, New York) moved to No. 4 on the all-time list with her 6:27.80 finish. /John Nepolitan/ ◻︎